portraits of Missouri’s marginalized communities, a project.
Produced by Valérie Berta.
The WE project seeks to change the narrative through photography and storytelling. It shines a restorative light around people who occupy marginalized identities and provide a platform to foster intersectional dialogue. One photograph at a time, one story at a time, one dialogue at a time, the WE project seeks a world of radical inclusion and equity. The WE project is on Osage, Omaha, Kaw, Missouria, Otoe and Ioway lands. Black and brown, indigenous, new immigrants, refugees, L.G.B.T. Q+, religious minorities, differently-abled, without shelter and formerly incarcerated people share a history of systemic discrimination and abuse in our unfinished nation. The WE project seeks to celebrate and open up inclusive space for them to tell their stories.
The WE project also seeks to help bridge the gaps between these diverse communities through intersectional dialogue, and to engage the community at large in a necessary and urgent conversation about radical diversity, inclusion and equity. The portraits are taken against a neutral background in studio as a formal way of underlining our common humanity. I am asking of each person to submit a personal statement (whose format can range from a poem to a song to a personal narrative, or even artwork) about who they are, framed within the sense of their belonging to one, or more, of these marginalized communities and what it means to them.